Current Report Articles
Federal and National News

News (Mar. 8, 2024) – Older Adults Now Able to Receive Additional Dose of Updated COVID-19 Vaccine
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices' recommendation for adults ages 65 years and older to receive an additional updated 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine dose. The recommendation acknowledges the increased risk of severe disease from COVID-19 in older adults, along with the currently available data on vaccine effectiveness. For more information, see the CDC announcement.

HHS Issues Statement Regarding the Cyberattack on Change Healthcare
Change Healthcare is involved in a recent cybersecurity attack, causing delays in prior authorization determinations, claims filing and payment administration. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a statement to inform affected parties about flexibilities in place to assist with timely payments to providers. The statement includes information from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services related to changing clearinghouses, guidance for Medicare Advantage organizations and Medicaid managed care plans to remove or relax prior authorization processes, and assistance for providers who are having trouble filing claims. Optum provided information about a funding assistance program intended to help Change Healthcare customers who were impacted by the recent payer system outage.

OMB Set to Review LTCF Minimum Staffing Rule
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services submitted the Minimum Staffing Standards for Long-Term Care Facilities and Medicaid Institutional Payment Transparency Reporting proposed rule to the Office of Management and Budget for review. The final rule could be published at any time.

CDC Shares Additional Respiratory Viral Illness Guidance Information
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shared additional information about the updated guidance for respiratory viral illness discussing how people can protect themselves and their communities from respiratory viruses, including COVID-19. The CDC updated its recommendations because the U.S. is seeing fewer hospitalizations and deaths associated with COVID-19, and because there are tools available to combat flu, COVID and RSV.

CMS Issues Final Guidance on Medicare Prescription Payment Plan
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released a final part one guidance for the new Medicare Prescription Payment Plan. The guidance addresses topics such as identifying Medicare Part D enrollees who are likely to benefit from the program, the opt-in process, program participant protections and the data collection needed to evaluate the program. The guidance requires pharmacies to provide information about the program for anyone who meets a $600 out-of-pocket threshold based on a single prescription at the point of sale. Medicare Part D enrollees will be able to opt into the new program for the 2025 plan year.  

TJC Reminds Hospitals of CY 2023 Reporting Deadlines

The deadlines for accredited acute care, critical access and freestanding psychiatric hospitals to submit calendar year 2023 ORYX® performance measure data via The Joint Commission's Direct Data Submission Platform are as follows:

  • Friday, Mar. 15 – Organizations required or electing to submit electronic clinical quality measures must upload, verify and submit all four quarters of calendar year 2023.
  • Sunday, Mar. 31 – Organizations required or electing to submit chart-abstracted measure data must enter and submit fourth-quarter 2023 data.

Additional information is available.

MLN Connects Provider eNews Available
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued the following updates to MLN Connects Provider eNews:

Before You Go ...

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is hosting a webinar for hospitals participating in the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Mar. 12. Registration is required.